A late strike from Glen Johnson gave Liverpool a 2-1 victory at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds were worthy leaders at the break following an intricately weaved goal from Maxi Rodriguez, but Chelsea surged in the second period and equalised through substitute Daniel Sturridge.
The attention pre-match had focused on Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles meeting their former club - but it was Chelsea old boy Johnson who made a hero of himself to send the points Liverpool's way.
Kenny Dalglish made three changes to his team as he tried to maintain his own personal unbeaten record versus Chelsea as Liverpool boss. Maxi was asked to start his first Barclays Premier League contest of the season, while Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt were also involved. Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing all made way.
The opening minutes were memorable for two well-timed runs from Maxi, who was twice muscled out of going one-on-one - first by John Terry and then by Branislav Ivanovic. But it boded well.
There was a scare for the visitors on 10 minutes when Florent Malouda crossed from the left before Juan Mata flashed his first-time volley across goal. John Mikel Obi then launched an effort over the bar from 25 yards.
Bellamy and Luis Suarez combined shortly after only for the Uruguayan to be thwarted by Petr Cech as the game developed into the kind of open affair which we are not accustomed to seeing between these two sides.
The opener came on 22 minutes - or at least that's what most of Stamford Bridge thought when a harshly-awarded Didier Drogba free-kick rippled the side netting.
A real chance presented itself to Liverpool on 29 minutes when Terry fumbled possession, with Kuyt stealing before Suarez failed to find the run of either Bellamy or Maxi.
But Chelsea would not be let off twice. This time it was Mikel who was dispossessed by the excellent Charlie Adam on 34 minutes. Bellamy took over, executing a one-two with Suarez before feeding Maxi as he ran towards the six-yard box. The Argentine had just Cech to beat and kept his composure before wheeling off to celebrate in front of the jubilant travelling fans.
It could have been two when Lucas split the Chelsea defence with a low ball to Suarez, who attempted to cross for Maxi only to see his pass ricochet off David Luiz and into the side netting.
Andre Villas-Boas was concerned enough to make an attacking substitution at the break, asking Mikel to tag with Sturridge.
His side then created the first chance of the second period when Mata and Frank Lampard worked in tandem before Drogba rounded Johnson and bended over.
Mata danced into the box and it took some superb defending from Martin Skrtel to usher away the danger.
The leveller came on 55 minutes as Malouda was allowed to stride into the penalty area and cross to the back post, where Sturridge arrived to beat Pepe Reina.
Seconds later Liverpool's goalkeeper was asked to perform a brilliant save, diving low to his left to block a flicked header from Ivanovic.
Chelsea were now on top, and Dalglish responded by bulking up his midfield, exchanging Bellamy for Henderson. The result was that Mata and co found less space, but Liverpool were not making much of an impact at the opposite end.
An overhead kick from Malouda earned applause from the home supporters but Reina never looked concerned. The French winger should then have done better with 15 minutes remaining when he ghosted into the area to meet an Ivanovic cross first time.
Villas-Boas introduced Meireles and Torres for the closing moments but it was Liverpool who created the next big chance when Henderson found space for himself down the right. The summer signing centred to substitute Downing, who watched as his lay off was whacked into the hoardings by Kuyt.
The game was heading for a draw until the 87th minute when Adam picked out Johnson on the right wing. The defender skinned his England colleague Ashley Cole as he burst towards goal, running and running until faced with Cech, who could do nothing to stop our No.2's left-foot finish.